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What If 2016 Was a Fluke?

Donald Trump, like the prophet Joshua, understands the power of blowing his own horn. And like Joshua, Trump brought a wall tumbling down in 2016: the “blue wall” of states around the Great Lakes that supposedly gave Democrats an advantage in the Electoral College. Trump…

The Democrats’ Vote-By-Mail Problem

As the coronavirus pandemic fanned across the country in the spring, Democrats looking ahead to the presidential election urged people to stay home in November—and vote by mail. Minnesota’s secretary of state encouraged all eligible voters to cast their ballot by mail. Virginia Governor Ralph…

Cancel the Debates

Pity the poor closed-caption writers. Pity the poor ASL interpreters. But most of all, pity poor us, the American electorate. Tonight was the first presidential debate of the 2020 election, and if there is any sense or mercy left in this nation, it will be…

Trump Defends Decision to End Racial Sensitivity Training

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night defended his recent decision to end racial sensitivity training in federal agencies, arguing that federal funds shouldn’t be used to teach what he described as “very bad” and “very sick” ideas. When asked why he ended racial sensitivity training…

The Health-Care Fight Republicans Can’t Afford

There’s a reason Donald Trump has never produced a health-care plan that protects consumers with preexisting medical conditions: Ending protections for the sick is the central mechanism that all GOP health-care proposals use to try to lower costs for the healthy. Every alternative to the…

The Persistence of Segregation in South Carolina

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story in The Firsts, a five-part series about the children who desegregated America’s schools. Millicent Brown could only be honest. It was the summer of 1960, and she was standing in front of the school board in Charleston County,…

Judiciary Reform Is Not Revenge

Following Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Democrats, not surprisingly, are outraged at Republicans’ course reversal on filling a vacancy during an election year. Two proposals are gaining momentum among commentators and progressive activists: expanding the number of justices and instituting term limits. These ideas almost…

Large-Scale Political Unrest Is Unlikely, But Not Impossible

When a reporter recently asked Donald Trump if he would accept a peaceful transition of power, the president wouldn’t commit. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. In an apparent reference to mail-in ballots, he went on, “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and…

Hong Kongers, Don’t Idolize the U.K.

During this uncertain and unstable year, I’ve learned not to take Hong Kong’s freedom for granted. Prodemocracy protests consumed the city for months starting in early 2019, but the political climate changed abruptly in the spring, when Beijing passed a wide-ranging security law that many…

What the Supreme Court Fight Means for the Senate Majority

The struggle over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court could help propel Democrats to the brink of a Senate majority in November’s election. But whether it lifts them over that threshold could turn on the terms of the confirmation fight. Given the nature…

Is This Really the End of Abortion?

Friday was a perfect early-autumn evening in Washington, D.C., less than 50 days away from the election. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, arguably the most powerful anti-abortion group in Washington, had wrapped up her day on Capitol Hill. She and…

Can Democrats Stop the Nomination?

Anyone confidently predicting one way or another whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can seat a new justice on the Supreme Court is blustering. Here is the only thing that’s certain: The coming fight will not be resolved by principle—no matter how senators talk or…

Is This How Biden Blows It?

Last weekend, Philippe Reines walked over to Ron Klain’s house in Washington, D.C., to hand off his Donald Trump outfit: the suit, the shoes with the lifts, the shirt, the long red tie, the cufflinks. Just in case. When the former Hillary Clinton aide stored…

The Core Lesson of the COVID-19 Heart Debate

Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here. Last Monday, when I called the cardiologist Amy Kontorovich in the late morning, she apologized for sounding tired. “I’ve been in my lab infecting heart cells…

The Immigrants Who Created New Possibilities

Of the many questions at stake in this fall’s election, one of the less obvious is this: Will the United States remain a country where someone like Barack Obama or Kamala Harris—a person of color with immigrant parents—is likely to be born? The answer depends,…

Senate Republicans’ Last Chance to Stand Up to Trump

Nearly every reporter in Washington has experienced it: A Republican member of Congress says, “Off the record,” shifts into a quieter voice, and expresses how much he or she doesn’t like President Donald Trump. Soon after, you watch this same elected official speak up in…

Four Reasons to Doubt Mitch McConnell’s Power

To use power, you must have it. On the night of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a Trump nominee to replace Ginsburg would receive a vote on the floor of the Senate. That announcement promised a use of…

Howie Hawkins Is No Kanye West

Howie Hawkins may be the Green Party’s presidential nominee, but he isn’t Jill Stein—or at least, he can’t be, because he’s not on the ballot in as many swing states as Stein was in 2016. Courts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania decided this week to keep…

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Means for America

A furious battle over a Supreme Court vacancy is arguably the last thing the United States needed right now. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today represents a devastating loss for feminists who held up the 87-year-old as an icon of women’s rights, and…

The Books Briefing: How to Remake America

The Constitution denied Danielle Allen’s enslaved ancestors the right to full citizenship—but she still believes in its ability to shape America for the better. Revisiting documents and moments from this country’s founding to parse how they can guide our future is the the central idea…

An Experiment in Wisconsin Might Reveal the Key to Defeating Trump

No state has haunted the Democratic Party’s imagination for the past four years like Wisconsin. While it was not the only state that killed Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes in 2016, it was the one where the knife plunged deepest. Clinton was so confident about Wisconsin…

The Slow-Fingered President

President Donald Trump has warned his Twitter followers three times as often about the threat from mail-in ballots as he has urged them to protect themselves from the threat of COVID-19. Since March, when the stay-at-home orders started, he has written a little over a…

The American Government Gave Up on Reality

Alexander Hamilton and his colleagues wrote 85 separate essays to make their case that Americans should take a risk and ratify the 1787 Constitution. Three sentences into the very first of those Federalist Papers, Hamilton made clear that he knew full well the stakes of…

There Won’t Be a Clear End to the Pandemic

(Gueorgui Pinkhassov / Magnum) The pandemic has rendered many activities unsafe, but thankfully it can’t stop us from fantasizing about them. A common balm that people reach for is the sentence construction “When this is over, I’m going to ____.” It seems to help, if…

Scenes From the 2020 Tour de France

The 107th Tour de France cycling race—delayed more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic—began in Nice on August 29, as 22 teams of riders started their journey through central and southern France in 20 stages. The entire tour covers a distance of 3,484…

Even the Coronavirus Can’t Kill the SAT and ACT

Over the summer, more than 400 colleges decided to stop requiring the SAT or the ACT for admissions, because the pandemic had made taking the tests (or even finding a location to take them) so difficult. Some institutions, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, said…

The Left’s Moral Compass Isn’t Broken…

Commentary All of my life, I have said that the left’s moral compass is broken. And all of my life, I was wrong. Why I was wrong explains both the left and the moral crisis we are in better than almost any other explanation. I…

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